HRW calls out Ugandan police officer for sexual abuse victim-blaming


Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling upon police in Uganda to provide greater support for victims of sexual violence rather than perpetuate a culture of victim-blaming.

Writing on the HRW website,  Senior Press Officer for East Africa Audrey Wabwire calls out senior police officer, Emilian Kayima, over an article published under his name in The New Vision where he criticises women who “prompt some men to utter some words considered offensive, sexualised and abusive”.

HRW calls out police officer over article

“It was disappointing to read a recent article by a  senior police officer, Emilian Kayima, in The New Vision blaming women for being victims of sexual violence,” Audrey Wabwire writes on the Human Rights Watch website. “Instead of taking on the men responsible for the violence and abuse, Kayima, a former police spokesperson, went on a tirade against women.”

The article in question was published in The New Vision where Kayima likens men committing acts of sexual abuse to kite birds eating chickens, as is their natural behaviour.

He goes on to criticise women for dressing “indecently,” leaving nothing to the imagination and “sitting seductively”. He refers to men being teased and tortured by women’s choice of attire and “attacked” by women who confront men for staring at them.

Audrey Wabwire urges the government and police in Uganda to “denounce Kayima’s comments and make a strong stand against sexual violence.””This means treating sexual violence as the crime it is and not excusing it based on discriminatory and misinformed attitudes. It means placing the blame on the abusers and conducting rigorous investigations into all incidents of harassment and violence. It also means building trust with the community and demonstrating that survivors can expect support if they come forward, not further victimization.”

Featured image: By Mononomic (wikipedia:User:Mononomic) – Image:Hrw_logo.gif, Public Domain,


About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.